Vaccine mandates are essential to the future health of the U.S.

Woodbury+Alina+Health+Clinic

Photo by Allie Schlagel

Alina Health recently mandated vaccines for their employees. They claim this was to keep their staff/patients healthy.

“We have to do the right thing, help each other out, get the vaccine, and move forward,” principle engineer Aaron Stein said. Faith in the COVID-19 vaccine has been a controversial topic for the last year. For society to go back to “normal,” it is essential that 70-90% of population of the U.S. gets vaccinated. Realistically, the one way for this to happen is through a vaccine mandate.

“We have vaccine mandates on everything from smallpox to polio,” band director Dennis Lindsay explained.

The polio vaccine was first introduced in 1953, and now it is a mandated vaccine. It has been around this long, and it is still going strong.

“Thanks to the polio vaccine, dedicated health care professionals and parents who vaccinate their children on schedule, polio has been eliminated in this country for more than thirty years. This means that there is no year-round transmission of poliovirus in the United States,” the CDC explained in a case study.

According to the article, 15,000 cases of paralysis were discovered each year prior to polio vaccines being developed. People committing to getting the polio vaccine eventually brought the cases down to 10 by the 1970’s. Having this vaccine mandated almost completely eliminated the virus. Science today is much more advanced then when the polio vaccine was created. There is over 50 more years of virus/vaccine experience for a better vaccine to be developed. It is safe and logical to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine based on these patterns from history.

Certain businesses and facilities such as Alina Health are taking the bold step towards ensuring safety for their staff and patients. They believe that taking this step and mandating vaccines will ensure the safety for their staff and all of the patients they see.

“As of Friday Oct. 1 all employees, volunteers, students and contracted staff with Alina Health are required to have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine… Ensuring that our employees are vaccinated not only sends an important signal to the community that we embrace safety, but that we continue to take every possible step to bring about the end of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dianne Sandberg wrote in an article from KARE 11.

The fact that most people who die from COVID-19 are the unvaccinated population is a testament to the fact that COVID-19 vaccines work. It is important to address breakthrough infections know to not even the vaccine is perfect. Nonetheless, having a vaccine mandate in place increases the amount of people with immunity and lowers the rates of hospitalization/death.

“We know from hospital data the vast majority of people getting very sick or dying are unvaccinated. Yes, there are breakthrough infections, but those people rarely get very sick or die,” Stein said.

Overall, it is constitutional to mandate vaccines to make sure the general population is healthy. The Department of Justice has also said it is lawful for businesses to mandate vaccines.

“States have long had the constitutional authority to mandate vaccinations, which the Supreme Court has upheld twice, first in 1905 and then in 1922,”  Lawrence O. Gostin wrote in an article from Scientific American. 

Lindsay explained that a colleague he has is un-vaccinated, and got COVID-19. He was in critical care for over two weeks. He explained that he is expected to be on oxygen for the rest of his life because of lung damage.

“The vaccine was the only thing that would’ve taken a jab. It would’ve greatly reduced his risk of having any kind of major health effects,” Lindsay explained.

Lindsay’s friend was a marathon runner. After having COVID-19, and facing long term effects, he is never expected to race again. A vaccine mandate could have prevented him from losing something he loved.

In December 2020, the COVID-19 vaccine appeared. Over the last 10 months; so much time, research, and trials have been put into it. Now, more than ever, it has proved that it is safe, and it works. A mandate for this vaccine will keep people safe, and pull us out of the “new normal” COVID-19 has created.